On this day – September 11 in 2001 – the sun set on crushed buildings in New York. Thousands of lives were lost as the twin towers fell and the ‘Pentagon was gashed open’. For a lot of people, lives were changed forever. Five years later, on this same day, my life too changed forever.

As I watch the coverage of news on television and read reports in the newspapers on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, I find that for the relatives of those who lost their near and dear ones, the memories remain fresh and overwhelming. There is lots and lots of sadness still. I am not one of them, but then I become one of them because we are bound by loss on 9/11 . Only the years are different. 

It is such a gift to have a mother and getting that absolute, unconditional love. I sometimes wish I could pick up the phone and talk to her, share with her everything beginning from things monotonous. She would listen to everything, laugh, worry, care. It is impossible to reconcile to the idea of her being dead because she lives in memory. She is part of my dreams. I guess it is her way of showing that she will always be around. When you wake up from that dream, there is a fresh feeling of just having connected with her, but halfway into the day you think it was just a dream and it was just like yesterday once more. I do not like sadness to define my life and I don’t believe life is about grieving. I am sure she would like us remember her fondly and not dwell on her loss or absence. If there is one thing infectious about my mother – it was her ability to have a good laugh. . She shaped the person I am today

If I have to sing paeans about my mother, there will be no end. My mother’s simplicity, her unorthodox ways of raising us five siblings, her inherent goodness and great sacrifices she made for us are just half the stories told. I understand profound sadness but I am not a great believer in anniversaries. I like to grieve in solitude. The few death anniversaries of my mother in Guwahati were just an added drama with the people who were invited more worried about whether we cried or wore a smile. Can they even comprehend our loss? And no matter how I feel about anniversaries, I will always be special and unique in her eyes because she alone will know I was born that way!

I have lived in sunshine and shadow since my mother passed away, sunshine of her memories and shadow of her absence...

January 2007: Cruel Monday
June 2007: If Wishes Were Horses..
April 2007: Irreplaceable

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